Musical Preferences: Race and Gender Influences

The modern world has brought about many changes in the way race, gender and styles are viewed by the society. The media has a lot of influence on people’s demand for the types of music. There is some race and gender specific domination, which are portrayed as powerful and popular.

For some time, certain genres of music have been dominated by different people. There is no denying that rap and hip hop are created by African Americans. Even a great number of jazz compositions are not dominated by white population. But most recently, the music has become much more open minded. However, this has not taken away certain genres from groups of people. There are individual artists who might become prosperous in a different genre but other than that, there is a division. There are also specifics about gender. Women are shown to play the role of possessions while men are shown promiscuous and are judged by the amount of women they can get as a form of social status. The division between genders has been evident for a long time, with history to support this fact (Perry, 2004).

Wanda Jackson was an innovator of her time. She has united country music and rock in a new and unexpected fashion. Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke, at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, was much different from the views that Jackson wanted to portray. Even though the society and law have accepted the equality of both genders, there is still much predisposition and discrimination. Partly, this is due to the freedom of expression and the open mindedness that has been so welcome in the modern times.

From one side, there is respect for women and the art of music, as per Jackson, while the other one shows that music has become sexual and predisposed to the views of the dominant media. In the present times, sexuality and gender play a differential role in society and communication which is needed to attain specific results. Nowadays, the majority of music entertainment shows women “half” naked and thus, the society’s views are reinforced. The society supports this sort of representation.

In a book by Elijah Wald, “How The Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music”, he talks about the change in direction and the selection of certain characters and music. As there is a close connection between the lyrics and social views, provocative and derogatory language has had a significant influence on the conversations and labels that people apply to each other (Wald, 2011). Since people often repeat the behavior they encounter, whatever is said and done in music transfers over to real life without a fully conscious choice.

The subliminal messages specifically target people who are easily influenced by the pop culture and its negative side. The music has become divided between artists and there is some agreeing with Wald. It seems as if certain music has been registered with specific artists and portrayals of social life. The end result leads to an understanding that the originality of music will be attributed to artists who are best at their own representation of style.

Music was always an important part of any society and its effects can be observed in all instances of life. In order for the music to change, people must raise the standards in what is represented in the entertainment industry.

Work Cited

Perry, Imani. Prophets of the Hood: Politics and Poetics in Hip Hop. Durham: Duke University Press, 2004. Print.

Wald, Elijah. How The Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll: An Alternative History of American Popular Music. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.

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